In his State of the State address, Gov. Neil Abercrombie said he wouldn’t “ask anybody to do anything that I’m not willing to do myself.”

His is a noble sentiment from a leader.

And I don’t believe there can be any question about his compassion for those he asked to sacrifice.

But there are limits to rhetoric. At some point, it becomes time for action.

I have a suggestion.

There’s a situation in Honolulu that the Star-Advertiser’s editorial page correctly labeled as “shameful.” That’s the lack of hot water at Mayor Wright Homes. Not for a week. Not for a month. For years.

That would never be acceptable from a private landlord. The government would sock them with fines.

But with the state as the landlord, hundreds of residents don’t seem to have any recourse. They’re stuck washing their dishes, their clothes and themselves with cold water.

What a statement it would make if the governor said by his actions, not just his words, that he wouldn’t ask them to accept what he wouldn’t accept himself.

The governor should move into Mayor Wright until the tenants get hot water.

There’s one impromptu remark from the governor’s State of the State that sticks with me to this day:

“We cannot ask people to do something for us that we’re unwilling to do for them in terms of shared sacrifice.”

Imagine if he told that to the people of Mayor Wright Homes by his actions, and not just his words.

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